Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Take Your Daughter to Work Day, Every Day

andrea richards

Take Your Daughter to Work Day, Every Day


When I was a kid, there wasn’t a Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day (the initiative started in 1992, and expanded to include boys in 2003). But when I did go see my dad at work, it was often somewhere impressive, like the deck of an aircraft carrier. A career Navy man, he either worked on a military base or at sea for most of my childhood, which meant we grew up comfortable around heavy artillery (they practiced simulated wars all the time) and people in uniform, for whom at least part of the job description is to know how to take down your enemies. But it wasn’t my Dad’s line of work that really intimidated me—it was my mom’s. Forget the tanks and fighter jets; the bomb I really feared running into at school was my mother, who was a part-time substitute teacher. Or worse yet, having her teach one of my classes. My mother was tough—a smart, no-nonsense Midwesterner, she wasn’t the type of sub who was there just to bide the time until the real teacher came back. There would be no watching movies on her watch. She did not do riff-raff. While now I appreciate her efforts to actually educate my peers, at the time it filled me with deep shame. Especially when she sent my friend to detention for dropping a dictionary off the second floor of the library. I mean, really, who does that? Detention? For a silly prank? Now that I’m on the other side of things, and can contemplate my own daughter getting broadsided by a Webster’s Unabridged as she sits diligently reading in the school library, I have more sympathy for my mother’s actions. And I’m proud of her for being a badass.


Outside my office window

Since I work from home, my daughters have perhaps the least interesting Take Your Daughter to Work Day experience ever, getting the same chance they have every day to walk down the basement stairs and find me, most likely still in my pajamas (my own uniform of sorts), staring into a computer screen in my office. It’s not the least bit interesting and yet my office possesses some kind of magical draw to them. They love it. If I am working and they are home, they pop in constantly, which as you can imagine, is just great for productivity. To ward off invasions, I have a pile of toys for them in a corner. They are interested in none of these, instead methodically ransacking my desk drawers and going through the contents like pirates cataloging treasures, piling up paper clips in stacks as if they were gold coins. They will stay with me as long as I can take it, the 4-year-old sharpening all my pencils while the 2-year-old spreads the pile of shavings across the room. They draw pictures with my good highlighters until they either run the pens out of ink or use up all the printer’s paper. Every manuscript I work on has been illustrated, without my asking, by a preschooler. Basically, I battle Take Your Daughter to Work Day every day. The fact that I could be involved in anything other than my children is of intense interest to them—those tiny andreagirlnarcissists—and it’s both an affront and a fascination; they must come see what all the fuss is about! And once they see mom working, their job is to redirect my attention back to them. Although, really what surprises me is how long they will spend dawdling around in my office without interrupting me. They are still so young and yet they seem to have some respect for what goes on in my office—or maybe they just really dig office supplies. Whatever the case, when asked what she wants to be when she grows up, the four-year-old has three standard replies (none of which are “astronaut,” the one I hope for): ice skater, artist, or a “writer like Mama.” And for any of her three choices, she always notes that her work will involve an office downstairs. Let’s hope it’s big enough for the ice rink. If you liked this post, you may also enjoy…


Life Inside the Petri Dish


The B List


Rock and Roll Preschool

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

All comments are moderated before being published.

Read more

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

Take a walk outside, plant a seed, pick up litter, roll around in the grass, climb a tree, maybe even go for a dip. Whatever you do today, don't forget to take a moment to celebrate our little spec...

Read more

Available Now: Lullaby Renditions of Taylor Swift Double Single

Our first ever double single featuring Taylor Swift's hit "Blank Space" and previously unreleased "Wonderland" is out TODAY! Shop Now!

Read more